Following my post on Black Books, I’ve had a look through my book shelf and managed to come up with a few authors who are in my good books.
David Sedaris: Everything He’s Ever Written, Including Tax Returns and Shopping Lists. I love David Sedaris. He writes about his life in a brutally honest, painful and hilariously funny fashion. From his attempts to learn French in his newly adopted country:
I knew my fear was getting the best of me when I started wondering why they don’t sell cuts of meat in vending machines. [Been there!]
to his visit to a naturist camp:
It is ironic that nudists are just about the last people you’d ever want to see naked. [Tru dat.]
Bill Bryson: Mostly Everything He’s Written With the Possible Exception of A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bill Bryson is one of the few authors who actually live up to the claim to make you laugh out loud:
Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly.
England was full of words I’d never heard before – streaky bacon, short back and sides, Belisha beacon, serviettes, high tea, ice-cream cornet.
There are three things you can’t do in life. You can’t beat the phone company, you can’t make a waiter see you until he is ready to see you, and you can’t go home again.
Jonathan Ames: Wake Up, Sir! The beautifully written, funny story of Alan, a failing writer who is always getting into trouble. Fortunately, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who may or may not be real but does his best to fix Alan’s problems anyway. If Woody Allen directed Jeeves and Wooster in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this would be the result.
Unfortunately, I’m one of those idiots who knows everything about health and is in a constant state of alarm, and yet I continue to do everything I shouldn’t do.
It was another sunny day, good for skin cancer and playing tennis.
Kate Atkinson: All her books, except Human Croquet for some reason. I particularly love her series of Case Histories crime novels featuring semi-retired private dick Jackson Brodie, and his ‘will they-won’t they’ relationship with police officer Tracy Waterhouse. The plots are gripping enough to satisfy the most die-hard crime fans but the writing is extraordinary: witty, thought provoking, descriptive and poetic.
“All roads lead home,” says Julia.
“All roads lead away from home,” Jackson replies.
Looking at this list, it’s clear that comic writing is really my favourite. So I now need to add to my stash of funny, well-written, clever books to read. Any suggestions?